Looking Ahead

COA Director counts blessings, goes back to work

... Thanks, he says to volunteers, for stepping up

by Jack Beckley, executive director, Melrose Council on Aging

Looking Ahead, June 2007
Melrose Council on Aging

Note from the Director

Last month, I unexpectedly developed some chest pain and ended up undergoing a quadruple coronary artery bypass graph. Fortunately, the surgery went well and my heart was undamaged. The doctors tell me that I can expect to return to normal activities within the month.

While home recuperating, I was deeply touched by the many cards and letters wishing me well. I will be forever grateful for the support, it lifted my spirits during a difficult time.

I want to thank the COA staff, Cindy-Augusta Lake, Helen Buckley, Gloria Carroll, Ellie Forrest, and especially Georgie Lewis. Thanks also to our COA chairperson Eileen Olsen, and our wonderful volunteers for keeping the center open and COA services running smoothly while I was out. They all did a great job.

Jack Beckley, Executive Director

Giving Wisely to Charities

We all know that helping others, or supporting the good works of charities, can be tremendously rewarding. The problem, sometimes, is dealing with unscrupulous organizations.
Ryan Carney of the Boston Better Business Bureau has some tips to ensure that your donations will be spent as you intended. His presentation will be held on Wed., June 13, 1:30 p.m. at the Milano Senior Center. Since the date may have to be changed please register by calling 781-662-6886.

Seven over Seventy

The public is cordially invited to an awards ceremony when seven extraordinary Melrosians, age 70 and over, will be recognized for their remarkable contributions and community activity.

The ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 14, at 1:00 p.m. at the Milano Senior Center.
Seven over Seventy is sponsored by the Melrose Free Press, Square One Mall and Home Instead Senior Care. Nominations, which closed on May 25, were solicited in local newspapers and from community groups.

New Class Sign-in Sheets

Starting this month, all class sign-in sheets will be generated using the Milano Center’s new software. So, if you have not yet completed the registration form, your name will be omitted. It s not a big deal. Please just add it to the list and fill out the form at your earliest convenience.  

The new software will better track statistics (useful when applying for grants), create sign-in sheets, and easily find participants’ names and telephone numbers in case of program cancellations or health emergencies.

Art Class Welcomes Joanne

The Tuesday morning Art Class has a new instructor, Joanne Frey. Joanne has formal training in art and teaches classes at the Wakefield Senior Center and high school.

Joanne welcomes students at all skill levels in oil, acrylic or water colors. The cost is $5 per class which meets on Tuesday mornings from 9:30 -11:30 a.m.

Scramble for Scrabble

Scrabble players are invited to play in the Milano Center’s Carriage House Lounge on the first and third Mondays of the month at 1:00 p.m. (June 4 and 18). Please come! It will be fun.

Ride in COA Van

The Council provides transportation within Melrose for residents age 60 plus. The van runs Mon.- Thurs. from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

To schedule or check on rides, call the COA office (781-665-4304) mornings and 781-662-2030 afternoons until 3:30 p.m. There is a $1 per ride suggested donation.

SHINE Program

Get help with your health insurance-related questions. SHINE counselor Lillian Martin is at the Milano Senior Center Wednesdays from 11 AM – 2 PM. SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) is an Executive Office of Elder Affairs program providing support and ongoing training. No appointments necessary. If you prefer, call Lillian at 781-662-6886 to schedule an appointment, or just stop in.

Senior Dining Program

Delicious noontime meals are served each weekday at 12 noon in the Milano Center. The lunch program is run in cooperation with Mystic Valley Elder Services. Entrees are listed in Looking Ahead’s calendar and the complete weekly menus in the Melrose Free Press.

To reserve a meal, call 781-662-6886 from 10:00-11:45 AM at least a day before you plan to attend. A $1.50 donation is requested for each meal. Rides are available by calling 781-665-4304 ($1 suggested donation).

Let The Sunshine In!

June is one of the nicest months in New England. You should take time to enjoy the sunshine and enjoy the warm breezes. However, it’s tough to enjoy the season if everyday tasks like cleaning, cooking, and bathing are challenging. Are these types of tasks becoming hard for you? Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) is here for you! We often can provide just enough help to enable you to remain living in your home, in your community. Enjoy the spring and, if you need help, please contact us. We’re here to help. Please call 781-324-7705 or visit www.mves.org.

U.S Postal Service

Save a trip to the post office by mailing your letter and small packages and buying your stamps at the Milano Senior Center. Representatives of the post office will next visit the Center on Tuesday, June 19, from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Bridge Club – Meets Wednesday mornings. Recent winners were: Alicia Roman1st, Lou Froio 2nd, Fran Vennochi 3rd; Lou Froio 1st, Mary Hicks 2nd, & Vinnie Markelionis 3rd, Dot Lawry 1st, Lou Froio 2nd, Arthur Hughes 3rd,Paul Frazier 1st, Bill Healy 2nd, Rose Leone 3rd, Jean Pulsifer 1st, Al Mandrachia 2nd, Arthur Hughes 3rd, Joe Fallica 1st, Dottie Loring 2nd, Bill Healy, 3rd, Mary Mihaljan 1st, Paul Frazier 2nd, Roxie Ananian 3rd. New members are always welcome.

Duplicate Bridge Played on the first Wednesday of the month. Recent winners were Alicia Roman & Jeanne Lightbown, N & S, and Nancy Mooradian & Mary Hicks E & W.

Movies -- Movies -- Movies

After Princess Diana's shocking death, Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren, in an Oscar-winning role) and Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) engage in intimate talks as Britain demands the princess be memorialized in a manner beyond standard protocol. This Oscar-nominated drama for Best Picture goes behind the scenes as the queen and prime minister try to manage Diana's death on a personal level while also dealing with a public calling for royal treatment for their beloved princess.

... All are welcome to this free showing on Tuesday, June 12, at 1:30 p.m. Rated PG-13.


AARP Chapter 1124 June 8 –– Annual meeting at the Hillview Country Club. Program: Vocalist Gabriella Synder. Social Hour: 11:30 a.m. Luncheon: 12 noon. Please call Dottie Pearl (781-665-7012) for information and to make lunch reservations (deadline June 4).
Melrose Veterans’ Club Meets Fridays at 9:00 a.m., GAR Room, Memorial Hall.


Minibus to Square One Mall Call 781-665-4304 to reserve seats on the bus.
June 4  - Leaves Cefalo Memorial Complex at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
June 11 - Leaves Julian Steele & McCarthy Houses at 10 a.m.- returns at 1 p.m.
June 18 - Leaves City Hall at 10 a.m. - returns at 1 p.m.

200 Club – Call Rosemary Behrle at 781-665-3258 to register for trips. Checks payable to: The 200 Club.

June 27 Cheesecake Factory Luncheon & Cruise Starts with a memorable one-hour Charles River Cruise then lunch at the Cheesecake Factory offering over 70 items. Motorcoach departs: Cochrane House 8:45 a.m./Levi Gould 9:00 a.m.$68

July 18-20 Rangeley, Maine, Western Mountains and Lakes Region. Two nights at the Rangeley Inn with five meals and a welcome reception included. Gold panning in Coos Canyon, late afternoon moose watch and entertainment both evenings. $440 twin, $425 triple, $485 single

August 5-6 Cape Cod,  Pops by the Sea.” See the Boston Pops on Cape Cod. One night at the Tidewater Motor Lodge in west Yarmouth, a full American Breakfast and one Lobster Dinner (lobster substitute if desired). Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra Concert in Hyannis, Boat Cruise in Hyannis Harbor plus the Cape cod Scenic Train from Hyannis to Sandwich. $298 twin, $285 triple, $360 single

    The Melrose Friends of the Aging gratefully acknowledges generous contributions from Richard Abbott, Edward Benincasa, Joseph Dalelia, Anna Estle, Austin Frazier, Helen Hanson, Jeanne Maure ,Timothy & Gabriella O’Leary, Rita Petringa, Sara Pollack, Joan Potter, Pat Russo, Clarence Stanley, Bob Taylor, and Louise Tuma.

Volunteers Needed

Fish (Friends in Service to Humanity) is an all volunteer organization that provides Melrose residents with much-needed medical transportation. Lately, requests for rides have outnumbered available drivers so that callers have been turned away. Volunteers are sought to continue to offer this invaluable service. Both volunteer drivers and/or callers to coordinate rides are needed. If you have a little time to spare, you can make a big difference in people’s lives. Please consider volunteering. For additional information, call Preston Johnson at 781-665-1796.

Many Thanks to this Year’s Volunteers

Fred Alaros, AARP Tax Aide
Roxanne Ananian, Bridge Club
John Averell, Melrose Mirror
Rose Ball, Newsletter
Jeanne Beck, Lunch Program
Rosemary Behrle, COA Board
Barbara Bemardi, Milano Center
Ted Bond, COA Board
Ed Boyd, Melrose Mirror
Pat Boyer, Book Club
Andrea Bradford, Friends of the Aging
Bob Burns, Flu Shots
Rose Bursey, Flu Shots
Donna Campbell, Newsletter
Ross Capobianco, Milano Center
Eleanor Carpenter, Newsletter
Gloria Carroll, COA Office
Evelyn Camarot, Flu Shots
Ruth Christensen, Flu Shots
Helen Conway, Newsletter
Mary Dascoli, Flu Shots
John DeCecca, Lunch Program
Vincenza DeFeo, Tax Aide
Anna Marie DeFilippo, Milano Center
Rita Quinn Dietrich, Friends of the Aging
Nina Diorio, AARP Tax Aide
Ugur Dogan, Friendly Visitor
Joanne Donahue, Friendly Visitor
Jim Driscoll, COA Board
Ellen Durant, Bridge Instructor
Marjorie Enos, Handicrafts
Marion Ewell, Flu Shots
Arlene Feinberg, Milano Center
Louise Fennell, Melrose Mirror
Bernadette Ferreira, Milano Center
Carol Ferreira, COA Office
Phyllis Fewtrell, Friendly Visitor
Wanda Forrest, Newsletter
Ellie Forrest, COA Office
Jesse Freeda, Milano Center
Olga Gianneti, Newsletter
Nina Gibelli, Handicrafts
Dee Gonzales, Flu Shots
Phyllis Gorman, Movies
Maureen Grant, Flu Shots
Roseanne Greene, Milano Center
Lucille Haddock, Flu Shots
Lorraine Hanson, Flu Shots
Monique Hardy, Lunch Program
John Hodgson, Chair Caning
Eleanor Hooton, Milano Center
Arthur Hubbard, Flu Shots
Laura Igo, Flu Shots
Barbara Lovaine, Friendly Visitor
Bertha Jackson, Newsletter
Preston Johnson, Friends of the Aging
Don Johnson, Chair Caning
Margie Kelley, Newsletter
Laura Kelly, Milano Center
Angie Leavy, Handicrafts
Ella Letterie, Melrose Mirror
Dorothy Lucas, Flu Shots
Anne MacGillivray, Silver Legisture
Richard Mallon, Friends of the Aging
Lillan Martin, Shine Rep
Leona McCaffey, Milano Center
Kay McCarte, COA Board
Margaret McCarte, Milano Center
Marilyn McCormick, Milano Center
Ginny McGuire, Milano Center
Florence Memmolo, Friendly Visitor
Rick Mockler, COA Board
Virginia Mondi, Milano Center
Kathy Morelli, Friends of the Aging
Bette Mulford, Friendly Visitor
Kathleen Muzarol, Friendly Visitor  
Carol Nelson, Melrose Mirror
Shirley Neumyer, Bridge
Gail Norcross, Friendly Visitor
Don Norris, Melrose Mirror
Eileen Olsen, Chair COA Board
Daniel Omogrosso, Milano Center
Dorothy O’Toole, Milano Center
Esther Parsons, Bridge
Philip Pendleton, Pianist
Natalie Pogson, Milano Center
Florence Pretti, Milano Center
Russ Priestley, Melrose Mirror
Helene Quinn, Milano Center
Shirley Rabb, Melrose Mirror
Kathy Richare, Flu Shots
Bob Ross, Melrose Mirror
Marie Ryan, Milano Center
Marie Salamamca, Milano Center
Shirley Samson, Flu Shots
Jeanne Shanklin, Lunch Program
Lea Shea, Newsletter
Joseph Sheehan, Tax Aide
Nancy Smith – Milano Center
Barbara Sullivan, Milano Center
Elena Sullivan, Milano Center
Joe Sullivan, Milano Center
Nancy Sumares, Milano Center
Jessie Suozzo, Flu Shots
Natalie Thomson, Melrose Mirror
George N. Torrey, COA Board
Patricia Umile, Friendly Visitor
Natalie Urban, Milano Center
Antoinette Volpe, Milano Center
Jackie Wattenberg, Milano Center
Faith Whittier, Milano Center
Helen Woods, Milano Center
Ed Wright, Friends of the Aging
Helen Wright, Newsletter
Mary Young, Newsletter
Sarah Zahar, Newsletter

Join us for an informative workshop on:

Understanding financial law changes that went into effect on January 1, 2007!

This program is being offered at the Milano Senior Center.

A Serious Workshop for Those Age 50 and Over Only

In this workshop, we will cover:

The new rules (from the DRA signed on Feb. 8, 2006) on protecting your house and other assets – some of your assets could be seriously threatened!

Three Ways IRA rules have changes to YOUR ADVANTAGE – informed people may have an advantage over the uninformed in 2007.

The new Medicaid rules – people who think they have planned may be in for a big surprise this coming year – an update on the sweeping changes to the law.

The 529 College Savings Plan – the one thing Congress did this year that could make this one of the best financial decisions you could make for your grandchildren.

Charitable giving – if you give to charity there is a new way to do it that could get you a charitable deduction even if you do not itemize your deductions!

The decoupling of the MA Estate Tax System from the federal system – don’t think you won’t pay an 11% estate tax without knowing all the facts!

Your host will be the well-known financial planner, Christopher A. Grande, MSIM, Principal of Walnut Hill Advisors. Chris has 12 years experience handling these matters and has served over 2,000 client accounts in his career.

If you have any concerns over what to do next, then you can not miss this seminar! Nothing will be offered or sold at this seminar – leave your checkbook at home.

All attendees will be entitled to a free report of their choice on their finances. Feel free to come with a friend. Seating will be limited due to past strong interest so you MUST RSVP

Wednesday – June 27, 2007 at 1:30pm
Milano Senior Center
201 West Foster Street
Melrose, MA 02176

Don’t miss out! Call to reserve your place at 617.662.6886.


Photo by Don Norris

Following this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Program, volunteers assembled for a group picture. Highlights of the afternoon included Mayor Dolan expressing his appreciation to volunteers for making Melrose a great place to live and a performance by the Melrose Senior Chorus. The names of the volunteers are listed above.

Arthritis Foundation Series

This month, the third installment in the Arthritis Foundation’s free four-session series about living better with arthritis will be held. Arthritis Foundation certified instructor, Susan DeColaines, will serve as speaker & facilitator. Susan also leads the popular Thursday afternoon "Strong Bones” class at the Center.

Sessions are held at the Milano Center from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. The remaining sessions are:
June 8: Fatigue Management/Energy Conservation
Sept. 7: Effects of Arthritis on Safety: Physical, Cognitive and Emotional Consequences.

This series is supported, in part, by a grant from MVES. All are welcome to attend.

Newsletter notices/announcements may be sent to the Council on Aging, 235 W. Foster St., Melrose, MA 02176. They must be received by the 5th day of the month proceeding the month in which your announcement will appear. Questions? Call us at 781- 665-4304.

Line Dancing is Fun!

Pictured below is line dance instructor Anne MacGillivray, seated with her dog Joy, and class participants taking a break. The line dance class is held on Monday afternoons at 1:30 p.m. and new dancers (beginners too) are welcome. For other exercise classes, such as yoga, tai chi and aerobics, see the calendar in this newsletter.
Volunteer Update Meeting

This month’s Volunteer Update meeting, chaired by coordinator of Volunteers, Mary Beth Calnan, will be held on March 6 at 11:00 a.m. The meetings are meant to be informative with current or prospective volunteers encouraged to attend to express ideas, clarify procedures and ask questions.

For additional information, call Mary Beth at 781-665-4304.

Melrose Mirror Online

The Melrose Mirror is an ever-changing online publication with lots of pictures and interesting stories. It is written and produced by Melrose residents, SilverStringers, at the Milano Center. Take a look at it at http://melrosemirror.media.mit.edu.

The SilverStringers welcome new members to their Wednesday afternoon meetings at 1:30 PM.

June 1, 2007

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